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AppRole - Auth Methods
The AppRole auth method allows machines and services to authenticate with Vault.

AppRole Auth Method

The approle auth method allows machines or apps to authenticate with Vault-defined roles. The open design of AppRole enables a varied set of workflows and configurations to handle large numbers of apps. This auth method is oriented to automated workflows (machines and services), and is less useful for human operators.

An "AppRole" represents a set of Vault policies and login constraints that must be met to receive a token with those policies. The scope can be as narrow or broad as desired. An AppRole can be created for a particular machine, or even a particular user on that machine, or a service spread across machines. The credentials required for successful login depend upon the constraints set on the AppRole associated with the credentials.


Via the CLI

The default path is /approle. If this auth method was enabled at a different path, specify auth/my-path/login instead.

$ vault write auth/approle/login \
    role_id=db02de05-fa39-4855-059b-67221c5c2f63 \

Key                Value
---                -----
token              65b74ffd-842c-fd43-1386-f7d7006e520a
token_accessor     3c29bc22-5c72-11a6-f778-2bc8f48cea0e
token_duration     20m0s
token_renewable    true
token_policies     [default]

Via the API

The default endpoint is auth/approle/login. If this auth method was enabled at a different path, use that value instead of approle.

$ curl \
    --request POST \
    --data '{"role_id":"988a9df-...","secret_id":"37b74931..."}' \

The response will contain the token at auth.client_token:

  "auth": {
    "renewable": true,
    "lease_duration": 2764800,
    "metadata": {},
    "policies": [
    "accessor": "5d7fb475-07cb-4060-c2de-1ca3fcbf0c56",
    "client_token": "98a4c7ab-b1fe-361b-ba0b-e307aacfd587"


Auth methods must be configured in advance before users or machines can authenticate. These steps are usually completed by an operator or configuration management tool.

Via the CLI

  1. Enable the AppRole auth method:

    $ vault auth enable approle
  2. Create a named role:

    $ vault write auth/approle/role/my-role \
        secret_id_ttl=10m \
        token_num_uses=10 \
        token_ttl=20m \
        token_max_ttl=30m \

    For the complete list of configuration options, please see the API documentation.

  3. Fetch the RoleID of the AppRole:

    $ vault read auth/approle/role/my-role/role-id
    role_id     db02de05-fa39-4855-059b-67221c5c2f63
  4. Get a SecretID issued against the AppRole:

    $ vault write -f auth/approle/role/my-role/secret-id
    secret_id               6a174c20-f6de-a53c-74d2-6018fcceff64
    secret_id_accessor      c454f7e5-996e-7230-6074-6ef26b7bcf86

Via the API

  1. Enable the AppRole auth method:

    $ curl \
        --header "X-Vault-Token: ..." \
        --request POST \
        --data '{"type": "approle"}' \
  2. Create an AppRole with desired set of policies:

    $ curl \
        --header "X-Vault-Token: ..." \
        --request POST \
        --data '{"policies": "dev-policy,test-policy"}' \
  3. Fetch the identifier of the role:

    $ curl \
        --header "X-Vault-Token: ..." \

    The response will look like:

      "data": {
        "role_id": "988a9dfd-ea69-4a53-6cb6-9d6b86474bba"
  4. Create a new secret identifier under the role:

    $ curl \
        --header "X-Vault-Token: ..." \
        --request POST \

    The response will look like:

      "data": {
        "secret_id_accessor": "45946873-1d96-a9d4-678c-9229f74386a5",
        "secret_id": "37b74931-c4cd-d49a-9246-ccc62d682a25"



RoleID is an identifier that selects the AppRole against which the other credentials are evaluated. When authenticating against this auth method's login endpoint, the RoleID is a required argument (via role_id) at all times. By default, RoleIDs are unique UUIDs, which allow them to serve as secondary secrets to the other credential information. However, they can be set to particular values to match introspected information by the client (for instance, the client's domain name).


SecretID is a credential that is required by default for any login (via secret_id) and is intended to always be secret. (For advanced usage, requiring a SecretID can be disabled via an AppRole's bind_secret_id parameter, allowing machines with only knowledge of the RoleID, or matching other set constraints, to fetch a token). SecretIDs can be created against an AppRole either via generation of a 128-bit purely random UUID by the role itself (Pull mode) or via specific, custom values (Push mode). Similarly to tokens, SecretIDs have properties like usage-limit, TTLs and expirations.

Pull And Push SecretID Modes

If the SecretID used for login is fetched from an AppRole, this is operating in Pull mode. If a "custom" SecretID is set against an AppRole by the client, it is referred to as a Push mode. Push mode mimics the behavior of the deprecated App-ID auth method; however, in most cases Pull mode is the better approach. The reason is that Push mode requires some other system to have knowledge of the full set of client credentials (RoleID and SecretID) in order to create the entry, even if these are then distributed via different paths. However, in Pull mode, even though the RoleID must be known in order to distribute it to the client, the SecretID can be kept confidential from all parties except for the final authenticating client by using Response Wrapping.

Push mode is available for App-ID workflow compatibility, which in some specific cases is preferable, but in most cases Pull mode is more secure and should be preferred.

Further Constraints

role_id is a required credential at the login endpoint. AppRole pointed to by the role_id will have constraints set on it. This dictates other required credentials for login. The bind_secret_id constraint requires secret_id to be presented at the login endpoint. Going forward, this auth method can support more constraint parameters to support varied set of Apps. Some constraints will not require a credential, but still enforce constraints for login. For example, secret_id_bound_cidrs will only allow logins coming from IP addresses belonging to configured CIDR blocks on the AppRole.


The AppRole auth method has a full HTTP API. Please see the AppRole API for more details.